I cannot believe I’ll be flying to New York exactly one week from today. September is absolutely the most spectacular month to be in the Greek islands. The summer heat continues, the water is warm, the crowds are gone, and the locals are finally able to catch their breath. But I promised my Murder is Everywhere blogmates I’d join them at Bouchercon, and a promise is a promise. So, goodbye Mykonos, hello Saint Louis.
Hmm, let me say that a couple of more times, just so I can get in the right mood. Goodbye Mykonos, hello, Saint Louis. GoodbyeMykonoshelloSaintLouis, gdbymyknshllsntlis …
If truth be told—but I’m a fiction writer—I owe a lot to St. Louis. It’s where my maternal grandfather settled when he first came to the United States. He moved down river to Kentucky where my mother was born, before moving the family up river to Pittsburgh where I was begat … but it all started in St. Louie. Thanks guys, this Bud’s for you.
|Not my ancestors|
I also think it’s a good sign that the Oscar nominated and #2 top grossing film of the year of the birth of someone very close to me was the musical, “Meet Me in St. Louis.” The title tells it all, at least for the film’s star and her director who met through the film and married. Yes, film buffs, you are correct. Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli owe it all St. Louis. I wonder if that sort of makes Liza and I related?
Historically, the film was based on a series of short stories in the New Yorker written by Susan Benson, and the film introduced “The Trolley Song” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” two all time classics that I’m sure I’ll be humming throughout my stay.
My hometown shares a lot with St. Louis. Both sit on mighty rivers, St. Louis the Mississippi, Pittsburgh the Ohio. Both share claim to being “gateways to the west” (St. Louis has the Gateway Arch, Pittsburgh the Gateway Clipper fleet of boats), St. Louis sports fans have the Cardinals, Blues, and Rams, Pittsburgh fans the Pirates, Pens, and Steelers. If you don’t know what sort of sports they represent, don’t worry. Ask anyone from either town and you’ll hear it all. And more.
But if you happen to ask in a bar, remember St. Louis has its august Budweiser, and Pittsburghers their Iron City (though some hoist a Rolling Rock from nearby Latrobe, Pennsylvania). And they’re both about the same size. The cities I mean. The beers too.
When I think about it, Bouchercon will be a homecoming of sorts. Not just because St. Louis is a cozy town that reminds me of were I grew up; it’s where I’ll find my friends and make new ones.
|Bye bye Mykonos|
Bottom line: if you must leave the Aegean for a few weeks during paradise season, Saint Louis is a terrific place to spend your time. SaintLouisisaterrificplacetospendyourtime, sntlsstrrfcplctspndyrtm.